Radio Jamaica | Monday, 01 September 2008
EPA signing postponed
Tuesday’s signing of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between CARICOM countries and Europe is officially off.
Official sources at the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery, which negotiated the agreement on behalf of CARICOM, told that Caribbean Media Corporation that a tentative new date has been proposed but it will not be released just yet.
Meanwhile, communications adviser to CARICOM Leonard Robertson has confirmed that Caribbean leaders will meet in Barbados on September 10 to discuss and resolve matters expressed by some regional leaders on the EPA.
Only last week deputy Prime Minister, Dr Ken Baugh declared that the Bruce Golding led administration intends to sign the final draft of the controversial agreement.
In Parliament last week, Dr Baugh brushed aside criticisms laid at the feet of the government, that the EPA is a faulty trade deal that only benefits the European Union.
However, regional governments have been divided on the trade deal.
As a result Prime Minister David Thompson of Barbados requested a CARICOM meeting to deal with the diverging views.
Caribbean academics, trade unions, and non-governmental organisations have also called for a re-negotiation of the accord that will govern Europe’s future trade with the Caribbean.